What do you believe?
Daniel Quinn Mills is the Albert J. Weatherhead, Jr. Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus. His tenure at Harvard lasted from 1976 to 2007. He consults with major corporations and governments and lectures about management, leadership, strategy, economics and geopolitics. He is an expert on the differences between Asian and Western leadership styles. An American, Mills is also a member of the Innovation Council of Malaysia, a ministry level council chaired by the Prime Minister.
Mills has been interested in early stage businesses and as a director and investor has helped develop several firms. He has been a director of a publicly listed company, chairing its audit committee for several years. A thought leader, Mills has written books on leadership, geo-politics, investments, capital markets, business strategy, network organizations, demographics, marketing, empowerment, and union relations. His most recent book is Master of Illusions: Presidential Leadership, Strategic Independence and America’s Public Culture, published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press. The book explores America’s role in the world in the aftermath of the second Iraqi War.
Widely and often quoted as well as seen in the national media, Mills has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, and been quoted in articles in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Business Week. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.
Question: What forces have shaped America?
D. Quinn Mills: America is shaped primarily by two I think. Number one is it isolation. We are protected behind our oceans, and that is as true today as it is been before, we went through World War I and World War II without any significant damage at all to our homeland. Almost no other major country in the world--certainly none of the major countries Eurasia--did that and it really does shaped the way we feel about the world. The second thing is that we had, what is largely, because we are settled by immigrants and the mixture of the world, it’s a, we had a largely blank page on which to write and we are largely our own creation for good and bad, in a way that is simply not true of most other countries. I think of the Russians a great deal. There is a country; there is a group of people who have been invaded again and again and again, and it's a totally different culture as a result of that than is our culture. We’ve never been invaded essentially, except briefly by the British in two wars around the time of the Revolution. So, I think the isolation and the ability to develop ourselves as we saw fit are the two really important things.
Recorded on: 9/27/07
We were an isolated, blank page of human history, says Mills.
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